Food being prepped on a cutting board.
Food, Money

4 Easy Ways To Stretch Your Grocery Budget

If there is one budget category that is easy to manipulate, it is your food budget. There are simply so many ways to save that the average mom of a large family could easily save hundreds of dollars a month. Don’t believe us, keep reading and see for yourself.

Ready to get that food budget trim and fit? Here is what you should be doing.

1) Meal Planning

If you do only one thing, it should be to meal plan. Meal planning is a simple concept that can save a large family hundreds of dollars a month while simplifying your life. Here is how it works.

First, sit down and write down all of the meals that you will make for the week. Make sure to include snacks in the tally. Once you have your list, check it against what you already have in the refrigerator or the pantry and cross those items off. Now, you have a complete list of everything that you will need for the upcoming week.

The benefits to meal planning are twofold. The biggest benefit is that your list allows you to buy just what you need from the store, eliminating food waste. Since food wastage can add up to hundreds of dollars for an average family, this is a very big deal.

Another advantage is time savings. Your list will be a complete one, which means no last minute trips to the grocery store. That alone can save you hours in an average week.

If you are not currently shopping for groceries this way, start meal planning right away.

2) Shopping The Circulars

Next on the list is shopping the circular ads. Every grocery store releases a circular on a weekly basis and this circular will have a few products that are discounted heavily. Their motivation for doing so is to simply get you into the door. Once inside, they expect you to buy more items at the regular price or even a slightly inflated one.

Taking advantage of these circulars will mean shopping the sale items and the sale items exclusively. If the item will keep, you will want to responsibly stock up. That might mean freezing a few pounds of chicken or filling the pantry with dry goods. Just be sure to not buy more than you can use in a reasonable period.

3) Repurposing Leftovers

Repurposing can save you money just as easily as meal planning can because it is using the same concept. It is all about reducing food wastage.

Instead of throwing away the leftovers at the end of the meal, repurpose them. This could be as easy as freezing them in preparation for a leftover night or you could take it a step further and find new uses for your food. An uneaten chicken breast becomes the meat for a Caesar Salad or an unused burger patty becomes the basis for a beef taco. There are a lot of ways to repurpose food into incredible meals, if you are creative and like being frugal.

4) Using Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup is one of the best things to ever happen to frugal shoppers.

First, it gives you the ability to shuffle your cart around as the dollars add up. In store, once you get to the register, you are pretty much stuck. With curbside, you have time to mix your cart up a bit to find cheaper options or to keep your cost under your budget.

The best perk however is the ability to ignore merchandising. When you enter a grocery store, the advertising game begins with well placed name brands and sneaky end-caps. Shopping online removes the temptation of all that so you can stick to your budget.

A Trim Food Budget

The great thing about a food budget is that it can be made slim and trim without sacrificing your quality of life. Simply find the most economical sources for your food, shop wisely and you can save hundreds of dollars each and every month. It is one of the best ways to pull together a tough budget or to free up some money for savings.

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